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clined to suspect, then it is doubt est pride. But we wonder whether less the fault of those who ought he is as well known or as widely to know better, but who have in read in Scotland as the Sundayso many ways dissociated them- school prize-books above mentioned, selves from the. masses," and which seem to run into almost as broken the old unity of feeling. many editions as French novels, The books called 'Carlowrie,' thereby proving themselves to have · Aldersyde,'' Blinkbonny,' "Glen- reached the elevation of books airlie,' &c., are cheap books, and which people buy, and not merely perfectly well adapted, with their hire from a library. The public mild love - stories and abundant taste is inscrutable in its developmarriages, for the simpler classes, ments. But the boundless sale of especially of women, whose visions "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab,' are bounded by the parish, who for instance, or' Mr Barnes of New know nothing higher in society York,' does not touch our pride as than the minister and his wife, does this strange national falling off and believe that all the world in the appreciation of literaryvalue. lieth in wickedness except Scot- These belong to the exigencies of land. To cultivate this spirit is, railway travelling, to the folly of however, pernicious in the highest idle readers, who want nothing but degree, though the little books in a little excitement, and perhaps to question are all amiable, simple, an over-supply, which clogs appeand virtuous beyond reproof—and tite, and makes vinegar and pickles silly. And it is sad to be told that welcome as a variety of sensation. these productions are regarded as There is no sensation, however, in representatives of a national school, the books to which we refer, and

nd attain their popularity by dint indeed, nothing else in particular of their dialect and by the very but Scotch, unillumined by any narrowness of their aim. We touch of higher light, the petty who have larger boasts, who have nationalism which puts itself above in so many ways contributed to humanity. Mr Hamerton's printhe greatness of the empire, and ciple of patriotic jealousy, on which helped authoritatively in building presently we shall have something up its fame, we, above all, who to say, is better exemplified here in the person of Scott. have set than in the examples he gives us ; the example and given the laws and it is very much to be regretted of noble fiction to all the world, that it should be so. that we should fall into this poor We except, however, from those little local separateness, is most remarks the works of Mr Henry painful to every loyal sentiment. Johnston, the Chronicles of GlenMr Barrie is a proof that a buckie,' and others, which we are little circle of weavers, speaking sorry we have not room to include the broadest Scotch, too broad with Mr Barrie's book, as instances for our individual taste, can be of admirable and truthful work. made universally interesting; and "Glenbuckie' is not equal to that their homely life, with all its "Thrums,' but it is excellent in its fun and pathos and tenderness, way, full of feeling and humour, is as well adapted for the uses of and free from the extravagances genius as any in the world. He of “ Doris”.

-a term perhaps more is a disciple to whom Sir Walter elegant than Forfar to which the would have held out his kind hand, historian of the little northern and in whom we can take an hon- town has yielded.

а

Here the stories perhaps should young heroine i a true vanderer end—but there is one which is among the wilds, loving naturo scarcely to be classed with the with passion, and finding consolastories, which has the importance tica in all her troubles from the of a three-volumo novel, for which great sweeping levels of land and we may still find a moment. Mrs 'sky. The old-fashioned farmhouse, Comyns Carr's book has neither the equally old-fashioned hall, of ihe adventitious interest of which the humbler house is the

Ideala,' nor_the power of the superior so far as the view goes* Window in Thrums.' The story tho wealthy vegetation intervenis pretty, old-fashioned, or at least ing between the darker lines of belonging to a vague society which the marsh-water and the level of has not much in common with the sea, which completes and fills the everyday world - a society ap the great hemisphere of space, in which squires and farmers and furnish a number of delightful small country town solicitors and scenes. There may be, perhaps, a errant officers in her Majesty's little repetition in the many picservice live like a happy family, tures of this landscape, but even dancing, dining, and falling in love the repetition is natural, and has with each other without any awk- something to do with the charm ward divisions or exclusiveness- of that broad, vast, and level land. which would be very pleasant if “ Meadows for hay, pastures for all farmers' daughters were like sheep, there was scarcely, anything the Miss Maliphants. But what else, save here and there a blue turnipis remarkable in the book is not field or a tract of sparsely sown brown so much its heroes and heroines as

land, where the wheat as yet made

little show. The one little homestead the beautiful background of the

to which we were bound, made a very marsh, with all its atmospheric poor effect in the vast plain : there and other changes, in which some was nothing but land and sea and sky. natural drama is always going on, A great deal of land, flat monotonous and which Mrs Comyns Carr paints land-more monotonous now in its with great skill and effect. Mr richness and the brilliant grønness Black has accustomed his readers of its early summer time, than it

would be later when the corn was to take scenery for story, and to

ripe, and the flowering grasses turning accept a fine sunset in many cases, to brown: an uneventful land, rely, instead of an impressive scene, ing for its impressiveness on its broad which perhaps is trying after a simplicity, that seemed to have no long experience, but now and then reason for ending or change : above is very agreeable. The penalty of the great stretch of earth, a great

, course is, in his case, that the seas

vault of blue sky flecked with white and skies of the Western High- clouds out towards the horizon : be

vapours and lined with long opal lands have grown painfully famil- tween the land and the sky, a strip iar to us, and that the red glow be- of blue sea binding both togetherhind a line of chimneys would be sea - blue as a sapphire against the gratefully accepted as a novelty. green of the spring pasture.

Far We have not, however, been tried

down here upon the level we could with a succession of marshes, and from the cliff above, one could tell

not see the belt of yellow shingle that, in the meantime this new land- divided earth and ocean : right across scape is beautiful, and has a

the white space it was one stretch of great deal of novelty in it. The lightly varied tints, away to the ship

1

Margaret Maliphant. By Mrs Comyns Carr. William Blackwood & Sons,

was

ping and the scattered buildings at out above the sea the purple streaks the mouth of the river."

had turned to silver, and sent rays

upward into the great dome. Hung And here is a sunset, another like a curtain across the gates of some little charming vignette of the wonderful world unseen, a rosy radiwide horizons and sweeping level ance spread from the bosom of the lines of sky and sea :

ocean far into the downy clouds above,

that so tenderly covered the naked “A long line of flame marked the blue-a radiance that every moment horizon behind the hill ; and upon more and more marvellously the red sky the houses of the village, illumined by that mysterious inthe three roofs and square tower of ward fire whose even distant being the church, the ivied greyness of the could tip every hill and mountain ancient gateway, and the solitary of cloudland with a lining of molten pines that marked the ridge here and gold. Unconsciously my gaze clung there, all lay dark upon the bright to the spot where a warmth so farness, their shapes defined and single. spreading sprung from so dainty & Close behind us the sea was cool and border of opal colouring; and when fragrant. Upon the line of the wide at last the great flame was born of soft sands that shone in sunset reflec- the sea's grey breast, I felt the tears tions, a regal old heron had fetched come into my eyes; I don't know why, his evening meal from out of the little and a little sigh of content rose from pools- that the sea had left, and un

my breast." folding his huge pinions, sailed away in a queer oblique and apparently The subject of the story, apart leisurely flight to the tall trees that from the marsh, is chiefly how an were his inland home."

anxious sister schemed and laboured We cannot resist the temptation think they were in love with each

to make two beautiful young people to balance this picture with a pendant. The heroine has lost her other, out of the purest and most way upon the marsh in a sea-fog, generous motives in the world and after long wandering, she and motif not unlike that of Miss Austhe tired horse she has been rid

ten in ‘Emma,' but managed, we ing, equally worn out, chilled and need scarcely say, in a very differmiserable , meet the somewhat vague Miss Margaret, after her innocent

ent way: though it is hard upon hero driving home from market in his gig, who has also lost his way ;

but silly scheming, to have her but who lifts her into the gig, and

own lover carried away by the

beautiful sister whose happiness restores comfort and the bliss of

she was

so anxious to secure, protection as incipient love has a way of doing. They drive together though not in that way. This all through the short summer night, and reasonableness, is charmingly

sister, however, in her beauty and find the road again only with drawn, and so is the mother, and the dawn.

the ways of the homely but re"The mist was beginning slowly, fined yeoman's house. But we re very slowly, to clear away, and the turn always with fresh interest to hills upon which our farm stood loomed the marsh, which is like a gallery out of it in the distance. In the of drawings, full of tender tints marsh on either side of us the cattle and soft visionary distance, and began to stir like their own ghosts animated by a true love of nature in the white vapour, and gazed at in all her moods, both gentle and us across the dykes with wondering, sleepy eyes. The stars were all dead, severe. and above the mist the quiet sky spread a panoply of steel-blue, while The title of Mr Hamerton's

new booki leads us to expect one even in such a comparison, and of those pleasant collections of Mr Hamerton has that prefer- . sketches which we naturally asso- ence for his adopted country and ciats with his name, in which, friends which naturally comes amid charming pictures of life and from a personal choice of them- , landscape in midland France, all always more lively than the mere drawn with 8 most favourable compulsory claim of birthright. pen, there will be an involuntary In every particular of their daily

, desire to celebrate the qualities of existence, in habits and manners, his now neighbours a little at our in religion and politics, he pursues expence—but all so picturesquely the parallel. This, it is evident, and with co much grace, that we is a very different matter from should be ill-natured indeed did sketches of life. It is not nearly we ozpress any objections. sọ amusing, but it is a more im

In the present case, however, portant undertaking, and there is Mr Hamerton has not been so always an interest in seeing ourwell inspired. His book is about selves balanced against our neighFrance, and those characteristics bours, and clearing up those mists which are so unlike our own that of national misunderstanding or we find endless subjects in them mistake on both sides, which are oft for the pleasant surprise and ad- so ludicrous and sometimes arise miration which so often distin- so simply. We are all extremely guish the attitude of the Eng- conscious of the absurdities on the lish spectator towards our neigh- French side, which aro very patent bour country. No doubt there and apparently incorrigible by any are many who do not assume this instruction or experience ; but we attitude, but, on the contrary, are not at all so well aware of the one of prejudice and disgust; but misconceptions on our own. yet we think a very large number are indeed disposed to believe that of English visitors to France go

we know

a great deal better there with a distinct inclination what French society is than any to be pleased, and concerning French critic knows what English many things, a foregone determina- society is. For instance, nobody tion to find that these things are

in England makes or perseveres done better in France. Mr Hamer, in making those mistakes about ton, however, does not confine him- French titles and courtesy names self to & delineation of the rural whick Frenchmen continually world which he knows so well, make in respect to us.

Nothand in which we are quite agreed ing like Sir Gladstone, or the as to his competency to give an quite incongruous and wild use of opinion. His aim is a far more lord, which is habitual in France, serious and important one, being occurs in England. It is nothing else than & & close and true that French titles are simple, minute comparison between the and there is not the elaborate systwo nations in all their pecu- tem of noble names existing among liarities, – a comparison slightly, our neighbours which nystify even perhaps unconsciously, to the dis- the partially educated writer advantage of his own country-folk, among ourselves, causing him per

. It requires a very steady hand petually to speak of Lord John indeed to keep the balance quite and Lady Mary Smith as Lord

We

ever

1 French and English. By P. G. Hamerton. London: Macmillan & Co. VOL. CXLVI.NO, DCCCLXXXVI,

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Smith and Lady Smith, a solecism ways subsist, and certainly it is which is too shocking for words. the most incomprehensible of all. We, on our side, sometimes gener Mr Hamerton begins his contrast ously add a “de” where no par- of the two peoples in the schoolroom, ticule is, with no consciousness and continues it through all the that we are thus conferring nobil national and domestie institutions, ity. These mistakes are venial, contrasting the culture of the but they are curious evidences of affections in France with their rethe unteachableness in such matters pression in England, the different of the general mind, which goes views of both peoples in respect to on generation after generation, rank, their patriotism, their differthus repeating mistakes which the ing kinds of conser vatism, their very smallest amount of trouble religion, and, in short, everything would correct. The idea of each which deeply affects national charother which is conceived by the acter, with a very full knowledge two most eminent and highly of what we may call from an Engcivilised of European nations, ' lish point of view the other side nearest in geographical position, of the question; but with not so most connected in history, with a elear a perception we think of ours, close acquaintance, both in hate which perhaps he has partially and in comparative) love, which forgotten, and with which, seeing has lasted for many centuries- his long inhabitation of another and on either side including a country, he probably, to begin considerable number of individuals with, was not entirely pleased. who admire with enthusiasm, Here, however, is something like study, copy, and exalt the other a statement of his theory as to the is curiously deficient in:exactness mutual judgment of the two nations, and reality. To be sure, even in which he takes as explaining all differences of locality little affected their hard thoughts of each other, by race, we find the curious pro- and which will show at once his blem of this inability to under. position and its defects :stand in full force even after the closest union. It has come to be "I cannot conclude this chapter witha sort of absurd commonplace that jut frankly admitting that national nothing, for instance, will

jealousy is reasonable so long as it

It is enable us, in this larger island; to quite reasonable that the French

confines itself to the truth. understand Ireland. Nay, there should want to push the English out remains between the English and of Canada and Egypt, and that the Scotch, who are now virtually one English should wish to sink the nation, the most odd mutual fail. French fleet. What is unreasonable ures of comprehension. But why is for two peoples to depreciate each need we go so far afield for ex

other in books and newspapers, and amples, when even between the because both are formidable in a mili

blacken each other's private characters two halves of the human race, the tary or naval sense. How is it that companions who share bed and

we hear so much of French immorality, board, and every incident of life, and nothing, or next to nothing, of there remains the same inconceiv- Italian? How is it that in France able failure of understanding, and

we have heard so much of English men and women, after those thou- cruelty and_barbarity, whilst the

accounts of Turkish cruelty were resands of years, continue inscrutable

ceived with the smile of incredulity to each other? This great mis or the shrug of indifference? Why understanding apparently will al- this so tender French sympathy for

ever

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